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As ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. KJV Matthew 10:7 -- I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. KJV Matthew 16:19 -- Ye are come Ö unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, KJV Hebrews 12:22 On my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: KJV Acts 2:18 -- That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. KJV 1 Corinthians 2:5 --

Pastor's Corner
Have you ever looked into the window of another personís parked car as you passed it by in the parking lot? You notice little things, different things, in every car you pass. Itís not that your snooping, itís just that you see what is there. But how many times do the items you see truly make an impression. Well, this week I had to laugh, and moan, as a particular car seat filled with "this-n-thatís" caught my spiritual eye.

Ordinary car filled with ordinary junk. Papers on the seat, old cup on its side. A little cluttered in appearance. It was not badly cluttered, just ordinary. And sitting on the pile of stuff, was a long red metal object with two curved hooks on each end. I recognized the object. The objectís name was ĎThe Clubí.

As most people know, who have ever watched a late night commercial, The Club is a car protection device. It was created to guard your car from thieves driving off with your car, presumably the most important thing you wish to protect. It may have a lot of junk in it, but you certainly donít want to come back from your daily activities to find it gone, right?

Okay. So why was The Club on the car seat? Isnít that odd? Wouldnít you say to yourself, Ďwhat a dummyí? The owner got the protection in order to keep his car safe. Then that same rational owner didnít use the protection. You can well imagine that this person thought enough about their car, or at least about the fear of losing their car, that they spent the time and money to get it protected. Yet this same WISE person just as quickly puts it on the car seat, hence saying to all thieves, "hello, I am available for pickup"! Sigh.

What strange mortals we are. The good we would do, we do not, and the bad we would not do, we do. (Rom. 7:19). We hear the seller of protection, and follow the call of wisdom, then we promptly forget! We cast aside our protection.

I have a question for you. Where is your Bible? Is it in hand or on a back seat?

God took 1,600 years to write the Bible, and sent his best salesmen to give it to you so THIEVES could not break in and steal your soul. You heard the call of wisdom and willing embraced the protection. Did you then leave The Truth on the shelf of misuse, announcing to all demons, "free soul to steal, come and get me"? (Thieves always break in when you are not looking and when you are not protected.) Check your car -- it may have been hijacked while you were busy being Martha in the marketplace!
© Anthony J. Massotti, Th.M. 2/042001

The other day, I happened upon a dating show on the television. On the show, two dating want-a-be contestants were in a car together going to their next date location. The woman turns to the man driving and says: "If you treat me like your queen then I will treat you like my king." The man did not verbally respond to the statement but presumably made some other comments later. I didn't see any more of the show after that.
The next day, as I was driving toward my day job, I found myself replaying the lines from that conversation. It troubled me. It seemed somehow not quite right, not quite a good attitude to express. I couldn't put my mental fingers on the slippery feelings of disturbance but my spirit was churning. It didn't take long for the churning to become an obvious point.
Consider, for a moment, that the woman represents a new convert and the man represents Christ. The relationship is one of newness and mutual 'feeling out' what the other is like. Christ has never known the convert before. The want-a-be bride of Christ convert is just beginning to ride in the spirit with the one who is driving. Christ is eager to have a relationship. The convert is eager for ... what? Ah yes. What can Christ do for ME! Is that not what the average Christian has been trained to expect? God is there for ME! "If HE will treat me as a QUEEN", is at the heart of religious thought. We may not say it in exactly those words, but we do mean it that way in our hearts. What is the church doing for me? Am I treated importantly? Can I use its resources for MY benefit? Am I being treated with respect? Can I do whatever I DECIDE and get the 'authority' to accept that? If the answer to that becomes YES then the convert says, "ok, now I will treat you with respect due your position". And the convert is not satisfied with what did He do YESTERDAY. No. No. No. The QUEEN wants Him to shower her with flowers NOW, healings NOW, money NOW, miracles NOW, everything NOW. Today is the measuring rod. It's a date by date relationship in the converts mind.
Now expand this symbolical imagery just a little wider. The woman is the whole church. The man is still Christ. Now what? Are we still serving Christ with cloaked motives? Are we withholding our adoration, praise, respect, and loyalty UNTIL He first demonstrates how he is going to treat US? Is He KING first and we the submitted Queen at HIS side carrying out the duties HE has decided upon? Or are we more like the Queen of the bug kingdom -- expecting all the kingdom drones to serve our needs? He has PROMISED to take care of His ENTIRE kingdom. We are part of the kingdom; however, let us never forget the Scriptural condition which says, "Seek ye first the kingdom and righteousness OF HIM" (Matt. 6:33 lit). He is KING first. He will treat us as His true Queen when we respect HIM first.
© Anthony J. Massotti, Th.M. 2/112001

Once, there was a man standing in front of a hill. The hill was very tall, and the sides were filled with rocks. Surveying the land with an eye to climb the man noticed what looked like a path twisting and turning through the rocks like a snake wiggles in the soil. He waited. He meditated. He hesitated.
Along came another man and stood next to the man contemplating his next move. "Are you going to climb?" said the man. "I cannot decide, said the first man, "I am not sure that it is safe, even though I think I see a path." "Oh," replied the new arrival, "the path is not the way up, you must go by the rocks!"
The contemplating sojourner recoiled in shock and skepticism. "Sir, you must be mistaken. I have carefully analyzed this hill, and the rocks are most deadly for sure. Look! Every rock is odd and sharp and all are covered with either moss, or overgrowth, or moisture. If I were to step on those rocks I would most surely tumble, break my bones, crack my skull, and die!"
The other replied, with the smile of a professor goading a student, "I have traveled this way many a time. I assure you, the ROCKS are the only way to travel safely up THIS hill."
At that moment a third man, young and full of zeal, came upon the discoursing company. "What goes," said the man, "why do you stand here a talkin'. Come. Let us walk together. It is only a short hill, and the sun is setting. Soon it will be dark. See! There! A path. We must make haste."
The wizened sojourner was about to make comment when the young man shook his head and said, "Some people take too long to make decisions. When the answer is obvious Ė and this one is obvious for this path has been used before by many -- one must ACT and not think!" With that said, the man bolted for the path with a gallop. Sure as bears climb trees and salmon jump upstream with confidence the man was seen moments later well beyond halfway up the hill.
The skeptic turned to the other and declared, "Did I not say the path was right, and the rocks were wrong? Look! The sure way is always the well worn path!" With that statement he made a step toward the path. Then, a most blood-curdling scream could be heard! Down came the young man, bouncing and ricocheting everywhere, and then, he fell out of sight.
The skeptics gloat turned to instant horror. He turned and stammered, 'What happened?" The new companion sighed -- a most unsettling sigh -- and then he spoke.
"The rocks you see here on this hill are truths; they are sure and solid and have been here since time began. They await the discovery of the seeker. Each is in its place as the Maker has designed it to be. You are correct to say that the rocks are covered with moss, overgrowth, and moisture. These three indeed make the way treacherous -- for they are sins, worldly affections, and human desires. The hill is wisdom itself, and is unlike any other hill you will ever cross.
If you slip on a rock, because the moss was in the way, you will only bruise your ego but it bring humility and carefulness in your climb. Indeed, I assure you, every man who attempts to live by truth will surely slip and fall at different times. Truths, real truth, make all travelersí journeys feel a little insecure. The traveler who seeks security will ultimately chose to turn away from the journey altogether for fear of the hill. Wisdom is not easy to traverse.
"But sir," the man interrupted in panic, "the hill had a perfectly good path! Surely, the footing was better there Ė is not truth supposed to be obvious? Maybe the manís walk was at fault, instead. Should not wisdom be easy to see, and the application thereof quickly achieved? If it is truth, wisdom, or right, it would surely not be hard to trod, as these rocks would most certainly be?"
With that, the other man began to step up to the first rock, then the second, then the third, and finally, when he was a quarter way up the hill, he spoke his last words.
He replied, "Friend, You have heard it said that narrow is the way that leads to truth, and wide the way to destruction, but I say to you this day that the narrow way is not ALWAYS the right way -- if the path has been worn smooth by tradition! Too many people, following too many people, have created paths, which cannot be traveled safely to arrive at the higher levels of revelation truth. They who travel the path fall because the path has turned to fine sand, wherein is nothing solid to be grounded. It has become the sands of a million ideas, by thousands of minds, filled with a billion opinions. Other travelers fall on these ideas, become beaten by the truths they ignored, and broken on the slipperiness of being fallible. They die; never seeing spiritual reality from the top of the this fine hill. There is a way that seems right to a man, but the end thereof is death."

The student nodded with understanding. The quest of truth would be precarious, and the way would have to be traveled with careful attention to every detail. He would ignore no rock as an opportunity to climb higher. He would fear neither moss, nor overhang, nor moisture, for they would surely be gone in a short while, when he reached the top of the hill. With that his first obstacle was conquered. Can you guess what that obstacle was?

© Anthony J. Massotti, Th.M. 2/25/2001



Original Quote by Pastor Anthony The noose gets loose when the goose gets cooked well done
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